It may be a surprise to some, but I don’t attend very many hosted (free) dinners. Like most food writers, I get email invites from restaurant PR firms often, and if I wanted to, I could eat gratis (lunch AND dinner) practically every day of the week.
From a local burger joint to the best restaurant in town, we enjoy (and usually pay for) it all. We don’t have children (except our pups of course!), so our disposable income goes towards food and travel.
Throughout the year we’ll attend a few “friends and family” meals (restaurant pre-opening dinners), grand openings and the occasional new menu preview. In exchange for blog coverage (more importantly, twitter coverage), we have the pleasure of sharing a beautiful meal at the courtesy of the restaurant. NOTE: We ALWAYS make sure to leave a hefty tip for the staff.
Wolfgang Puck’s legendary SPAGO restaurant went through a major remodel in 2012, so I was thrilled to get an invite for Peter and myself recently.
About the remodel (from Spago’s website):
Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff’s legendary, flagship restaurant features a completely new menu and design. The master chef, along with Executive Chef and Managing Partner Lee Hefter, has re-invented the entire menu with his signature farm-to-table philosophy, heightening the iconic California cuisine Puck catapulted to stardom. Spago’s new design from Waldo Fernandez complements the food with its clean and simple aesthetic, incorporating natural elements to add an organic feel.
The California Tasting Menu was, as expected, quite exquisite. My favorite dish was actually the one I was LEAST excited about when perusing the menu. If you’re dining at SPAGO and see “Savory Oatmeal” listed anywhere, please do not dismiss it like I did. I still can’t stop thinking about the comforting texture (from the wild nettle), the subtle spiciness (from the ‘Nduja) mixed together with the uni’s awesomely, creamy funk.
Hoping to spoil mom for Mother’s Day? Check out the incredible brunch menu (with over 25 choices) here. Dishes include Ricotta-Lemon Blintzes with Wild Huckleberry Compote (for her sweet tooth) and Veal Filet Mignon Tartare with Warm Tarragon Vinaigrette. The cost is $70 per person for three courses (a bargain at SPAGO!), $35 per child (under 9 years). This is the only brunch scheduled for the entire year and begins at 11am until 2:30pm, Sunday, May 11, 2014.
My photos from SPAGO’s Spring “California Tasting Menu”
A few of the wines on Spago’s Spring Tasting Menu:
Caraccioli Brut Rose paired with abalone.
Wind Gap Trousseau Gris paired with savory oatmeal & uni.
Galerie Sauv Blanc paired with prawn.
Wenzlau Chardonnay paired with agnolotti.
Black Kite Pinot Noir paired with duck.
Araujo Cabernet paired with lamb.
Unfortunately I was too full for sweets! (Lucky Peter!)
176 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 4/23/14
California (April 2014) Tasting Menu $145 pp
California Wine $75 pp
This meal was hosted.